Founded as a motorcycle manufacturer in Japan, Honda has since branched out into automobiles, aircraft and artificial intelligence, producing everything from Honda tyres to Honda robots themselves. Yes, you read that last part right. Though they initially built improvised motorised bikes using military surplus engines, they quickly tried to innovate, adopting practices way ahead of their time.
Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda had a lifelong interest in automobiles, starting his career as a mechanic tuning racing cars, before starting his own company to produce mechanical parts for Toyota. Though he was initially successful, Honda researched factory processes, and later aided the Japanese war effort by helping to automate the production of military aircraft propellors.
Soichiro Honda was an early adopter of the factory line philosophy and insisted on simplifying the manufacturing process by using die-casting parts to reduce waste, though this was initially impractical for such a small production team. Hondas’ initial car designs were small, light-weight and powerful – the Honda S500 had 44 horsepower and a weight of 680kg – benefitting from the brand’s prior motorcycle expertise.
Honda have long been supporters of unconventional approaches and cutting-edge tech, being early adopters of anti-lock brakes, electric-hybrid engines and front wheel drive. They also incorporated innovative polymer research into Honda tyres and body parts, using layered construction materials from the outset. By expanding into foreign markets with alternative product ranges (notably the luxury Acura brand launched in the United States and Canada in 1986), Honda were able to secure widespread commercial success.
Born on the muddy and uneven slopes of Japan, most Honda motors can handle rough terrain, so you might be able to get away with Summer tyres for the most part. However, all Honda tyres should be suited to the specific model: A minivan has different needs to a supercar, after all. This futuristic brand deserves high-tech tyres, so performance or asymmetrical tread tyres are recommended for hardcore Honda fans.